How do Georgian specialists view “green competitors” in politics within the framework of sustainable development, caring equally for both global and local issues?
Population increase, massive forest destruction, increased demand for water and energy sources, and expanding urbanization are only a few of the factors resulting in the environmental disaster that the Earth is currently facing. Humans have never treated nature as badly as they have during the second half of the 20th century. Lia Todua, representative of the Strategic Research and Development Center, stated that seawater and the seashore are polluted. At the same time, there are threats that we do not yet have data to prove: ground water and springs are extremely polluted, and there is no information about the disposal of waste in areas without sewage systems. Researchers are also concerned that even some big supermarkets offer products that are unsafe, since water safety is a big issue for Georgia. “Water from springs and wells is polluted and unsafe for human health. These were constructed years ago, and the water may not come from deep sources. Wells are often located in proximity to barns or outhouses; harmful substances are leaked into the ground and therefore, into ground water,” said Lia Todua. She is also concerned with the issue of food safety, which is left without appropriate attention, unlike in Europe, where special efforts are made in this direction.
But how can we ensure sustainable development if there is a superficial attitude towards nature in the context of increased population and decreased natural resources? According to Oleg Shatberashvili, Chair of Innovative Development Manager of European Research in Georgia, there are schemes and technical means that have a lower impact on the environment while still allowing for business profit.
The quality of Black Sea waters was not discussed in detail, but Professor Sasha Khorava of Batumi Shota Rustaveli University spoke of the protection of the Black Sea Coast as the critical issue for the Ajara region. “When human interference reaches high levels, nature creates its own protective mechanisms. So external impact leads to a disaster,” said Khorava.
The audience asked questions about waste management and trends of global warming. The most frequent question concerned the future of nature in this century.